Bicam moving towards setting sin tax target from P33.5B to P35BBy Karen Boncocan
MANILA, Philippines — The bicameral conference committee on the sin tax reform bill on Thursday moved towards setting the measure’s revenue target to P33.5-P35 billion.
This was how they were trying to reconcile the two bills from both chambers which sought P31 billion for the version of the House of Representatives and P39 billion for the Senate version, said Iloilo Representative Janette Garin, one of the members of the House contingent for the bicameral conference committee.
She said that the panel were still in discussions over a 70-30 percentage burden sharing for tobacco and alcohol products, respectively. Four hours after they started their deliberations, she said that there was still “nothing definite.”
Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said that what they have covered were conceptual assumptions. He also felt that with the agreed upon increase on tax rates every two years the 70-30 percentage burden sharing would become 90-10 by 2017.
The burden will gradually place more and more of the burden on the tobacco industry, he said, lambasting that issues he and Recto raised “sinasagasaan lang (railroaded).”
“Those who fought from the side of the House are Singson, (Camarines Sur 3rd district Representative Luis) Villafuerte and (Camarines Sur 4th district Representative Arnulfo) Fuentebella, from our side it’s me and (Senator Ralph) Recto,” he said.
Aside from Marcos and Recto, senators Panfilo Lacson, siblings Alan Peter and Pia Cayetano, Sergio Osmeña III, and Franklin Drilon met with Davao City Representative Isidro Ungab, House majority leader Neptali Gonzales II, House minority leader Danilo Suarez, Iloilo Representative Janette Garin, Batanes Representative Henedina Abad, Fuentebella, Villafuerte, Negros Oriental Representative Jocelyn Limkaichong, Ilocos Sur Representative Eric Singson Jr., the House contingent for the bicameral conference committee on the sin tax bill.
Also present during the deliberations were Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares and Finance Undersecretary Jeremias Paul Jr.
The panel has earlier agreed to hike tax rates on alcohol and tobacco products every two years.